“Write book” has been on your vision board for a long time and ‘author’ is something you’re itching to add to your bio, but there always seems to be something more pressing and more important to do inside your life and business than actually sit down and write it. If this sounds familiar, this episode is for you. Because while running a business and having a life doesn’t leave a whole lot of room for penning a masterpiece, there are some tell tale signs that you are primed and ready to get focused and get that book written right now, so you can take your brand to the next level.
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I wrote and illustrated my first book – “Shipwrecked” – at the prodigious age of 6. The fact that it bore an uncanny resemblance to the Swiss Family Robinson, and was bound in green sugar paper and held together by treasury tags from the classroom stationery cupboard is beside the point. But basically that was the moment I knew I wanted to be a writer.
Maybe that’s you too, maybe you’ve always wanted to write – or maybe it’s not the actual writing part that’s exciting to you but the whole being an author part and getting on that fast track from expert to thought leader in your industry that writing a book can give you.
Either way, if you’ve ever had a nudge to put your thoughts, your story, and your ideas into a book, and you haven’t done it yet, you’re probably constantly waiting for the right moment in your business or your life to get it done.
Now as a writer, I’d say that there’s never a right time to write. Even writers don’t feel like sitting down and writing most of the time. That perfect moment never comes. For every time I sit down and it flows out of me like a tap, there are 99 others where I’m thinking things like, “mmm maybe it is time to go and unblock the outside drains…”
So you just have to kind of train yourself to get it done. So generally I’d say if you’re waiting for the perfect conditions to write your book in – like a remote mountain retreat, it’s probably never going to come. But I will say, when it comes to writing a book for your business – for your brand, I do think there are times when conditions in your business are about as perfect as they can get. And that’s what I want to share with you in this episode.
Because since writing the critically acclaimed ‘Shipwrecked’ (both my parents gave it 5 star reviews), I’ve been published hundreds of times over in national magazines, and as a ghost writer, editor and book coach I’ve consulted on 5 books – so you’d think I’d have got around to writing my own authority building book for my business by now, wouldn’t you?
Mmmm, well, I haven’t. Or at least I hadn’t. Until very recently, and my first book How to Be Luminous is due to be hitting an online bookshop near you in a matter of weeks.
And I’m so excited about it, because I’ve been in business 3 years now, and I’ve often been asked why didn’t I do it sooner.
But quite honestly, the main reason I didn’t do it sooner, is because I always thought I’d be a fiction author, because I didn’t think I had anything interesting or original enough to say yet, that related to my business and could be pulled together into a cohesive book. For the first two years of my business I was still working out who I was and what made me me.
So, I just focused on other things. Like serving and getting to know and grow my audience and creating content as it flowed to me and as inspiration struck. And then one day, at the end of 2019, I had an idea for not one book I wanted to write, but two and possibly a third, all of which related to my business. So what had changed?
Well, I suppose I’d found my voice. And in all the creating and the showing up and the exploring of my message, I found that there were certain themes that kept coming up and which my audience was responding to, and suddenly I realised I knew who I was, and what at least one of my books could be about.
Maybe you already are at that stage and know exactly what your book is about, or maybe you want to write a book but like me didn’t think you had anything worth shouting about to say. Well maybe you’re wrong. Because if you have any or all of these 5 signs you’ve got a book in you that’s itching to come out.
- You have a large body of amazing content that’s getting lost in you news feed
So I realised I had a book in me when I noticed that I had a huge body of content that I was creating that focused around one strong theme – and in this case it was why it’s time to unhide yourself, stop being vanilla and reach more people with your soul work. I had so much content around what keeps us hiding very often in plain sight, and how important it is to show up in the fullest expression of ourselves. And when I realised this was a theme, and something I really wanted to talk about and had something to say about, the first thing I did was go through all the content I had created over the previous 18 months to two years on LinkedIn, Instagram, Facebook, in the emails I sent my subscribers, in the trainings I’d run in the talks I’d done at events, and I discovered in amongst all of this, I had the themes for 12 chapters of a book and the bones of all the stories and lessons that could go into it.
And so if you’re already a prolific content creator you probably already have that too so it’s time to put it to use. And actually if you don’t have any signature content like a blog, and your best content only exists on social channels which every day is getting pushed further and further down a social media timeline, now’s the time to go back in and dig up that gold, polish it up and turn it into something evergreen. It’s not serving you there. Put it to use. Often the big thing that holds us back is not knowing where to start, but I’m sure amid all the content you’ve already created, you already have a messy first draft. And that’s where every book starts.
2. You’re ready to go from expert to leader
Nothing quite grows your authority like authoring a book on your topic. Whether it’s traditionally published or self published, it doesn’t matter, writing a book on your subject grows your authority, your know, like and trust and credibility. People just simply look at you differently when you can say you’re also an author.
Now obviously we do want that book to be good so that when someone actually reads it you don’t undo all of that, so I’d recommend getting some professional support if you need it. But if you are trying to elevate yourself to the next level of influence and you’re finding that you’re kind of hitting up against a bit of an invisible glass ceiling there, a book can be the most incredible way to fast track you from one of the experts to the leading voice in your field.
Now of course a lot of entrepreneurs have done this, Carrie Green with her book she means business, Denise DT with Lucky Bitch. Their books are important parts of their authority building and marketing funnel as well. And Lucky Bitch was originally self published and later picked up by Hay House
3. You have an inspiring story to tell
Your story really is your goldmine – and I honestly believe that it’s not the most dramatic story that resonates, it’s always the true one.
And the funny thing is I really didn’t see myself as having an interesting story to tell. So if you’re sitting there thinking, er I’m so boring, who wants to hear about me, listen up. I know from more than 15 years working as a journalist, that so often the most profound and moving and interesting stories are the ones that feel the most ordinary and commonplace – because they’re relatable.
Despite that I was pretty sure I didn’t have a story because as we all know it’s hard to read the label from the inside.
Now very often as entrepreneurs our stories are closely linked to why we’ve started on a certain career path or business venture with some kind of personal transformation that we’ve been through – which ultimately reflects the journey you want to take your ideal customers on. Which is why our stories can be so powerful because people want to see that you understand them and they want the hope of seeing someone having come through the other side and got to where they want to be.
So you say, “Just like you I felt like this and I did this and I had this problem, but something happened and so I did this and this and that, and now I’m here and my life is like this.
For me I didn’t think I had a story that related to my audience in any way – they didn’t want to be glossy magazine journalists turned writing coaches. But as I grew my business and grew my own visibility and worked out what I wanted my voice to be about in this world, that’s when I uncovered the part of my story that did reflect my customer’s journey. The story of having a huge desire to help people and make an impact, but being too scared to show up and be me, and all the things that kept me hidden. And my story of unhiding myself I guess, runs throughout the lessons inside in my book How to be Luminous
4. You have a unique and succinct message you could talk about all day
Now, I am reluctant to suggest anyone has a completely unique message, just like there are no new and original stories really. But Your message is the unique combination of who you are, what you stand for, why you stand for it, and what you want people to know or feel or understand differently. And if there is something that you talk about a lot, that fires you up and gets you excited, this means two things. 1. You have a hook for a book. And 2. When it comes to marketing it you’re going to be able to talk about it until the cows come home which is good, because you’re going to want to spend more time talking about your book, than you did writing about it, if you want it to be a success.
So the message I was sharing that I knew would be the hook for How to be luminous was that shining your light is really about lighting the way so others can find theirs
5. You have a signature method (and a higher ticket product or service it will help you sell).
So one of the most valuable things you develop over the years of growing your expert status, is the way you do things, which often translates into a signature method. It’s what your clients go to you for, because it’s a proven process that gets results. It’s something you’ve taken years of trial and error and experimentation and implementation to perfect.
Maybe it’s a success path, a process that you take all your clients through, or a personal method of doing something that you know would help make other people’s lives happier, easier, or more successful in some way.
And crucially it’s linked to a higher ticket product or service that any readers of your book might wish to purchase.
If you have that, chances are that signature method of yours, is the perfect outline for your book. And while some readers will just read it like a self help book and implement it or not, for others it will naturally lead them on to wanting to buy your next level products or services. Don’t be fooled into thinking that just because people know how you do it now, that they won’t want your help to actually implement it. That is just not true. They now can see what an expert you are, and now they want your help to do it too.
So how many of those apply to you? I’d love to know. Because even just one of these is enough to carve out that time and get your book written and shared so it can start building your authority. But if you have more than one, or even all of these signs, seriously, it’s time to get scribbling.
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